Tulsa Mayor's Mentoring to the Max Breakfast 2015, II
We are extremely proud of the Tulsa Regional Chamber's longtime work to build workforce through education. TRC is a pioneer in strategies to unit business and education in meaningful ways.
Mentoring to the Max highlights STEM mentorship’s role in workforce
By Kuma Browne, education program manager
Posted on: January 29th, 2015
It’s hard to overstate how important mentorship can be to a child. The stats are staggering.
A recent Big Brothers Big Sisters study showed that students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class.
The same study also showed that youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking.
Other studies show strong correlations between mentoring and reduced dropout rates and better academic outcomes.
But many companies don’t realize how important mentorship can be to their own futures and the future of their community’s workforce — particularly in STEM fields.
That’s why we joined Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and his wife, Victoria Bartlett, to host the Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max breakfast this week. It’s vital that our STEM employers understand the direct impact they can make on the stability of their workforce simply by allowing their employees to volunteer an hour a month.
The Tulsa area is projected to need an additional 15,000 advanced manufacturing workers through 2018. They will join our region’s fastest-growing local industry. In fact, we’ve had more manufacturing jobs added here than in all but 11 major U.S. cities, with a growth of 27 percent since 2009.
The recent Workforce Analysis Project identified advanced manufacturing along with two other STEM industries — aerospace and energy — as the top growth industries for our city moving forward.
Mayor Bartlett told Mentoring to the Max attendees that STEM mentorship opens the door for a “pathway to prosperity” not just for students, but for the community as a whole. In fact, more mentorship locally is likely to make Tulsa “very interesting” to companies seeking new locations, he added.
A key component of the Partners In Education program, mentoring is a free and easy way to boost volunteerism and general well-being among your company’s employees, improve community standing and help make a difference in the lives of students. Mentoring can take a number of forms, including:
A regular but brief one-on-one session with a student in which a mentor visits informally with the child.
Lunch buddies: More informal, lunch buddies need only spend one lunch hour a week with a student in a friendly lunchtime environment.
A one-time “career presentation” to a classroom: Students can benefit from hearing the perspective of a member of the workforce regardless of profession.
Workplace tours: Much like career presentations to classrooms, opening up your workplace to student tours can be a powerful influence on a student’s career choices.
There are countless avenues for mentorship in our region. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help finding what works best for you or your staff.
Our Mentoring to the Max event was certainly a hit, and we encourage you to look for it next January when we again celebrate National Mentoring Month.
If you missed this year’s event, check out these stories: